How to Address Judges & Judicial Registrars

Addressing a Federal Court Judge

 In Court




Addressing a judge in open court in a court proceeding

In court, parties/legal practitioners refer to the judge as 'Your Honour'.

'Yes, your Honour.'

To refer to a judge who is not present in the courtroom you can refer to them as Justice Smith OR His or Her Honour BUT NOT His or Her Honour Justice Smith.

'Your Honour would be aware that Justice Smith …'


In writing




Addressing letters and envelopes

The Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 s6(6) prescribes the form for addressing Federal Court judges as 'The Honourable Justice …………'.

It is incorrect to refer to a Federal Court judge as His or Her Honour Justice Smith or as Judge Smith.

Include any post nominals after the name (eg. AC, AO).

The Hon. Justice W M Smith AO


Salutation Dear Judge,  

Addressing the Chief Justice

The same guidelines set out above apply when addressing the Chief Justice, with the small differences set out below:  



In writing - addressing letters and envelopes

The Hon. D S Mortimer, Chief Justice, Federal Court of Australia

In writing - salutation Dear Chief Justice,

In Court

'Your Honour'

In person

'Good morning Chief Justice.'

How to address Registrars



In court, a case management conference or mediation a registrar should be addressed as Registrar unless s/he advises otherwise.


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